Nicola Sturgeon appears to retreat from 2021 independence referendum in blueprint

Nicola Sturgeon quizzed on Scottish border by Guru-Murthy

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It comes as the First Minister received a blow after a new poll showed support for leaving the UK has fallen to its lowest level in 18 months. A new survey by Savanta Comres found that support for Scottish independence dropped to 42 percent – the lowest since the last UK general election in 2019.

The research found that support to remain in the union is at 49 percent.

On Thursday, the First Minister launched a blueprint setting out the key actions she will take in the first 100 days of the new term if she wins May’s election.

According to The Telegraph, Ms Sturgeon’s blueprint does not include any mention of seeking negotiations about a new independence referendum.

The SNP has repeatedly claimed that another vote could be held as early as this year if the party wins the Holyrood election.

However, the fact that Ms Sturgeon does not mention work towards a referendum in her 100 days blueprint could indicate that the party will wait to push for a vote.

In Ms Sturgeon’s manifesto, the SNP said it aims to achieve another independence referendum “after the Covid crisis is over”.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross believes the First Minister knew the referendum push was unpopular so is “pretending” not to demand one straight away.

He told the Telegraph: “They’re claiming to be pausing independence for three months and expecting us to be grateful but they’re not being honest with voters.

“Everyone has seen this act before.

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“All the evidence from past elections confirms that the SNP are deceiving voters and they’ll ramp up their calls for another referendum the first chance they get.”

Political commentator Alan Cochrane explained how some are calling on the Prime Minister to allow the referendum to go ahead in order to resolve the issue forever.

In a video, Mr Cochrane told the Telegraph: “There is an argument amongst some people, not the majority, that Boris should allow a referendum.

“And that the unionists should throw everything at the nationalists and win that referendum and that would put the issue to bed forever.

“Because if Nicola Sturgeon loses one more referendum the issue is dead forever.”

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